Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Funkland, Standards & a Truthful Guage


I started to slip into Funkland again today. I really thought my time there was over. For those of you who don't know what Funkland is, it's where you are when you question yourself, are feeling sorry for yourself or are generally unsure of what to do next. I used to find myself in Funkland at least once a week. Not fun. And for a while I had managed to stay out. I'm not sure what triggers it but I've found that any sort of action like cleaning or doing the dishes or just working on a different task usually gets me out of there.

For me Funkland is a big barrier to being and staying Sane & Satisfied. I really don't like not knowing what to do; it's a very unsettling feeling. And it usually snowballs into other bad feelings and melancholy. When I'm in Funkland I'm almost able to talk myself into being a waitress again.

I'm beginning to think that maybe Funkland is the place your brain takes you when you are moving out of your comfort zone and your brain doesn't know what to do. The safest place for your brain and for you to be is the past where things are familiar. You know already know what you did yesterday. You know what sitting in front of the TV for hours feels like. But you don't know what starting a business is like or what trying to get a book published is like. The unknown is scary.

What I Learned From Funkland

I think the other reason I go to Funkland sometimes is when I'm trying too hard to do something that I don't have the skill sets for. Today I was working on my business plan and worrying over the financial statements. I'm good at math but I loath working with numbers. Visiting Funkland today reminded me that we don't have to be great at everything.

I wrote yesterday about setting your bar too high. And the more I think about the meaning of Sane & Satisfied the more I keep thinking about how there seems to be a wide gap between what my expectations are and what I'm actually able to deliver.

This realization isn't meant to be a criticism. This is actually a very powerful thing to realize. I have felt like a failure so many times simply because I set my standards too high. It had nothing to do with my abilities.

I don't mean to set your sights so low that you overcome them so swiftly and painlessly that your success is now skewed. Setting standards and goals for yourself should be realistic both in what you are asking of yourself and to what extent. Only with a truthful gauge can we truly measure our success.

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